TOUCO Tanzania July 2016 Trip Report

Trip Agenda / Goals

  • Experience Tanzania, its people, culture and wildlife (safari).   
  • Visit all TOUCO sites to see current setup, operations, recent progress and assess current and future needs and opportunities.
  • Deliver Five (5) purchased manually operated sewing machines and teach. (Bahoze).
  • Be there for the delivery of the John Deere tractor, and initial training sessions.
  • Transport a large quantity of donated items, including a lot of clothes and shoes (thanks St. Alphonsus among others,  and some medicines (thanks D.O.E.R.S), and polyethylene (fish pond material).
  • Meet the various people that make up the Upendo families and community support people, including the local Bishop of Njombe Diocese and some of the local board of directors.
  • Help in any areas we saw a need as opportunity presented itself (shelving unit construction, solar system expansion at guest house, unloading dock for flatbed trucks)
  • Met the Upendo children and Matrons, experiencing a little bit of what their lives are like.


  • Jon Weis
  • Bahoze Rutazihana
  • Kevin O’Sullivan
  • Greg O’Sullivan

During this trip we were able to make some improvements at TOUCO Village (Ibumila) such as adding a solar power panel for refrigeration, building tables and shelves, design of the new church altar area.  We also spent time visiting and surveying the different sites to better understand assets and needs, learn how things are done in Tanzania, and gave our feedback on current progress and future plans for continued development.  Sewing lessons were given to students and matrons on the newly donated manually operated machines, baseball was introduced, many laughs were had, and new friendships forged.

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Special Thanks!

To Sisters Nazaria and Sr Feliciana Mpete,  Matrons  Shukrani Sanga, Lea Gomano, Maria Lumande , and students Ester and Merice who helped make our stay at the Ibumila guest house very comfortable, cooking us great Tanzanian and American meals on the wood stove and providing good company and laughs.  To David our skilled driver, who always had a smile and a laugh.   Thanks to Bishop Maluma for the loan of transport and driver, and present and future support for the UPENDO project, his hospitality and gifts of locally grown Njombe Diocese Tea.

And of course to Fr. Bruno, our expert tour guide, patient and gracious host.  You are doing amazing work!